1. He laid a hand against the rough bark of the oak tree, imagining the decades of history locked deep in the rings and wondering what sort of memories trees keep.
2. “They shot me.” There’s a pause of near-hysterical disbelief before it starts to laugh. “Me.”
3. Stones line the edges of the steep path in haphazard piles, brought up from the quarry by children old enough to know better and dropped when the weight became inconvenient.
4. She watches as the elephants take the alien’s offered fruits with delicate politeness, like parents accepting gifts from toddlers. Here the massive herbivores are honored pets, meant for companionship and decoration and he wonders how no one noticed the sharp intelligence in their eyes.
5. If I had known how much of myself would be lost, even in the brief heartbeats our minds linked, I never would have done it.